Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Lufthansa Cargo picks up environmental responsibility award for fuel-saving data tool

Thu 1 Jun 2017 – Lufthansa Cargo has received the 2017 DQS German Award for Excellence in the Environmental Responsibility category for its data collection tool OMEGA that provides key information for reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions. It was one of a number of awards made to businesses by global management systems certification body DQS for a commitment to sustainability practices. Developed by aviation software specialist Honeywell Aviaso together with Lufthansa, the Ops Monitor and Efficiency Gap Analyser (OMEGA) uses data collected during cargo flights to make future flights more fuel efficient by comparing projected, actual and optimal values. Pilots can use the analysis to best prepare for a flight and identify any deviations from the plan early on. The cargo carrier has a goal to reduce specific carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.

United States adopts ICAO Chapter 14 noise stringency standard for new aircraft designs

(photo: Boeing)

Wed 18 Oct 2017 – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has passed a rule that requires newly designed aircraft to harmonise with the ICAO Chapter 14 noise standard that came into effect in July 2014. In keeping with FAA numbering of aircraft noise standards, the new standard will be adopted as Stage 5 in the US. The agency believes the standard will ensure that the latest available noise reduction technology is incorporated into new aircraft designs. It represents an increase in stringency of 7 Effective Perceived Noise decibels (EPNdB) relative the previous ICAO Chapter 4 standard, or Stage 4. It will apply to new larger aircraft type designs with a maximum certificated take-off weight (MTOW) of 55 tonnes submitted for certification on or after 31 December 2017. For smaller aircraft with a MTOW of less than 55 tonnes, the standard will apply on or after 31 December 2020. The standard was passed into European Union law in January 2016.

According to the FAA, there were around 200 million passengers flying in the United States in 1975, with about 7 million people on the ground exposed to what is considered significant aircraft noise. A study it carried out in 2015 showed the number of people flying had quadrupled yet the numbers exposed to aircraft noise had dropped to around 340,000, or a 94% reduction in aircraft noise exposure.

“Reducing aircraft noise is important to the FAA because it’s an important quality of life issue for surrounding airport communities,” said FAA Michael Huerta, commenting on the adoption of the new noise standard. “We will continue to do our best through new technologies, procedures and community engagement to make aircraft operations quieter.”

The agency says it is committed to a balanced approach to the noise issue through reduction of noise at source, improved land use planning around airports and a wider use of aircraft operating procedures and restrictions that abate noise.

The background and justification for the new FAA rule, which becomes effective as of 3 November 2017, is published in the Federal Register. It notes that aircraft manufacturer Boeing and trade association Airlines for America had “supported all aspects” of the rulemaking proposal.

Current US operating rules require that jet aircraft meet at least Stage 3 (ICAO Chapter 3) noise limits. The Federal Register document says two organisations in proximity to Los Angeles International Airport, an airport community roundtable group and a municipality, had requested a phase-out of Stage 3 aircraft as part of the adoption of the new Stage 5 standard. However, the FAA says changes to the noise operating rules would have to be subject to full notice and comment rulemaking procedures, which have not been proposed. The previous elimination of Stage 2 operations had been required under two separate statutory provisions by Congress, it points out.

“The proposed Stage 5 rule does not provide any basis to attach an operational restriction, and none is included in the final rule,” it stated.

The ICAO noise certification requirements involves the measurement of noise levels at three different measurement points – approach, lateral and flyover – in order to characterise the aircraft noise performance around an airport. The EPNdB metric represents the human ear’s perception of aircraft noise. The requirements define noise limits that shall not be exceeded at each of the three measurement points and additional cumulative limit based on the sum of the three noise levels.

The ICAO noise standards are published in the Standards and Recommended Practices of Annex 16, Volume 1, with each new standard published as a new chapter, which becomes the shorthand designation of the new stringency. The new Chapter 14 follows the three other noise standards: Chapters 2, 3 and 4 – the jump to Chapter 14 is as a result of Chapter 5 already used for a different standard and the next available was 14.

The Chapter 4 standard came into force in January 2006 with an improvement on the previous standard of a little over 3dB on average at each measurement point.

Links:

FAA – Noise and emissions

ICAO – Reduction of noise at source

Copyright © 2017 GreenAir Communications

European airports’ carbon neutrality 2030 goal passes half way point as Gatwick and Lyon reach highest level

Wed 31 May 2017 – London Gatwick and Lyon-Saint Exupery have become the latest European airports to achieve the highest carbon-neutral level of the industry’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. This brings the total of carbon neutral airports in Europe to 27, over half way to reaching an industry goal of 50 by 2030, with four other airports in Asia and one in North America also having reached Level 3+ neutrality. Lyon initially entered the programme at the first ‘Mapping’ level of the programme in 2013 and has since worked its way up through the four levels. To coincide with its announcement of reaching carbon neutrality status, Gatwick has published its ‘Decade of Change’ report for 2016 which charts progress against 10 environmental and community-focused targets the airport has set itself for the 2010-2020 period.

Geneva Airport partners with local energy utility to install 50,000m2 of solar panels

Wed 18 Oct 2017 – Geneva Airport has entered into a contract with public energy utility Geneva Industrial Services (SIG) to install solar panels on 50,000 square metres of roof space – the equivalent of about eight football pitches. The array will produce around 7.5 GWh of electricity per year, the equivalent of the annual power consumption of 2,500 local homes. The photovoltaic solar panels will be installed on 10 roofs located around the airport, with an expected completion date of 2020. SIG will build and own the panels for 25 years and has committed 13 million Swiss francs ($13.2m) in funding for the project. The electricity produced by the facility will primarily be used to power the airport, which already boasts solar panels covering 10,000 square metres.

“Sustainable development has been defined as a strategic objective in all activities of the airport,” said André Schneider, Director General of Geneva Airport, announcing the project.

Since 2012, the airport has purchased a combination of renewable energy – solar and biomass – and hydropower from SIG. A solar heating installation enables hot water to be produced for the airport fire brigade building and in 2006 a solar power plant was installed on the main hangar roof and operated by Edisun Power. Hot water for domestic and heating use by more than half the airport is produced by an extra light oil-fired thermal station. In 2010, two solar panel arrays were installed on airport buildings that are now supplying 470 MWh of electricity.

Following a Swiss referendum in May, the country plans to decommission its nuclear power plants over time and shift to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power, with the aim of generating 20% of the country’s electricity through solar alone.

SIG currently owns and manages 39 solar power plants in the canton of Geneva with a production capacity of 48 GWh, and by 2025 expects to ramp this up to 150 GWh of solar power per year.

Last month, Geneva Airport announced it was collaborating with Finland’s Neste to supply renewable jet fuel from late 2018 to airlines serving the airport (see article).

Copyright © 2017 GreenAir Communications

ICAO in race to finalise CORSIA details as it concludes latest global outreach initiative

Fri 26 May 2017 – With barely 18 months before all countries with aircraft operators undertaking international flights are required to start monitoring carbon emissions, ICAO faces a major challenge in finalising the important standards that will underpin its global CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme. While 69 States have so far agreed to participate from the beginning of the pilot phase in 2021, many more will be affected by the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) requirements of the scheme. However, the ICAO leadership is confident that the draft standards are on course to be formally adopted in a year’s time, although concedes additional resources will be needed for the development and implementation of the scheme. The UN agency’s environment chief, Jane Hupe, told a recent seminar in Montreal that CORSIA should not be seen as a ‘carte blanche’ which allowed the sector to increase its emissions unchecked and the aim was to do everything possible to reduce aviation’s climate impact.